Monday, September 17, 2007

A Letter From Klein

My colleague is still recovering. He missed getting this letter today, so I hope he reads this to get a flavor of what he is missing.

Welcome letter from Klein:

We've had an extraordinary start to the school year....managing to open schools more smoothly and efficiently than anyone could remember.


If, by an extraordinary start he means overcrowded classrooms with standing room only, kids sitting in the wrong class three weeks into the term and broken copy machines, he is 100% correct. I can't argue with him here.


Last week, we also announced the results of our first-ever parent, teacher, and student survey.


I don't recall seeing anything on the survey about class size. My students were concerned with lack of certain sports and how long it took to get their programs straightened out. That was not mentioned either.

He also printed an except from an e-mail from a middle-school counselor.


People will usually rise to the expectations that is set and from what I see not being 'protected' from being fired is making people use their heads and think of solutions for their schools.


I wonder what planet this middle school counselor lives on. The majority of the teachers I know work with their heads every day. It is not fear of being fired that keeps us going, it is the strong desire to do what is best for our student. And, no matter what Klein would like to do, he cannot just waltz in and fire teachers at will.

She goes on to write
I can feel like a professional and a mentor.


Klein's initiatives have made teachers feel less like professionals and more like hired hands. He offered Steve Colbert a teaching job, even though Colbert has absolutely no teaching credentials. By doing this, he implied that anyone is capable of doing what we do. How does this make us feel more professional? He has instituted hall patrol and potty patrol. He has programmed every second of our day. He has stripped us of all decision making. If this counselor feels that we are now being treated like professionals, I worry about the children she is counseling.

I'm a teacher. Children will always come first with me. Klein's blatant disregard for class size and general schools conditions is an indication to me that he really puts children last. I also sent him an e-mail in which I detailed all my concerns about education today. In fact, I sent him multiple e-mails, one just before he visited my school. My e-mails did not get published or even answered. He only likes the ones that say what he wants them to say.

6 comments:

proofoflife said...

The same thing at my school. Filled to capacity. Hardly any room to walk around the classroom. What happened to the CFE?? I thought I heard the uft promise smaller class size! I thought I saw a puddy cat ! I do I do I do!

Ms. Tsouris said...

Where I come from, in Kleinspeak the word "extraordinary" is translated as "the worst". This was indeed "the worst" school opening ever. Special education students are sitting in special ed classes of over 30. Those are self-contained classes, not the collaborative general education classes. Klein would love to dispose of their IEP's and let those kids disappear; he has relegated those kids to a pre 1970's educational existence. "Extraordinary" is not the word that comes to mind when describing this ongoing situation that will take most of this month to clear up.

Catherine Johnson said...

Klein's initiatives have made teachers feel less like professionals and more like hired hands.

Same thing here, in my $22,000 per pupil school district. (At least, that's the way it looks to me, from my perspective as a parent.)

Jose said...

I'm telling you, POT, people just need to do their freakin' job!

HAHA ...

NYC Educator said...

Great post. I couldn't agree more.

Catherine Johnson said...

We've had an extraordinary start to the school year....managing to open schools more smoothly and efficiently than anyone could remember.

We get this same email from the Board every year, without fail.